Ningthoukhong Project Canal a boon for fishers

BISHNUPUR, September 24: The Ningthoukhong Project Canal, which acts as a necessary water supply for the Loktak Hydro Power Project since the completion of the National Hydro Power Corporation in 1983, is providing livelihood opportunities to many fishermen of the area.

Altogether 350 individuals from over 270 families of the Ningthoukhong area are getting an avenue to earn some income through fishing in the canal.

At times, the day's fish catch tallies to over 30 kg and it is not uncommon for a person to earn Rs 400 to 700 a day from the sale of the fish catch.

With the earning from the fishing, the fisher folks manage their family including providing for the educational expenses of their children.

However what is interesting that the fisher folk do not sell of their catch in the market. Instead, there is a network between the fishing community of the canal and other well to do families.

Business is conducted through telephonic communication or through personal visits with fish being sold at the rate of Rs 400 to 700 per kg depending on the size and variety.

The peak season of the business is during the month of November and December though the fishermen still earn during the other seasons too.

One Thokchom Shanti Singh (49), son of (late) Th Manikchand of Ningthoukhong Awang Leikai Ward No. 14, who has been fishing at the canal for the last 30 years since the commission of the Loktak Project, informed this IFP reporter that the fishing in the canal calls for hard work even necessitating camping by the river bank a whole night in the temporary sheds.

He expressed that a big or good catch always manages to wash away some of the hardships.

Besides this, he also domesticated poultry items in the camping area which gives not only monetary but also allow him to pass his time more fruitfully during the lean seasons.

Elaborating on the hardships of fishing, Shanti said one needs special skills and the daily expenditure to buy fish baits.

He also mentioned that the preparation of the fish bait is made from atta, butter, kala Jira etc. and appealed for a cold storage godown in the area for storage of the fish.

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Courtesy:ISTV Imphal


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